Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Successful completion of part 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2500 word essays, on phase 1  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   1 x 3 hour examination on phases 2 & 3  50%
Supplementary Assessment resubmit failed 1 x 2500 word essays, on phase 1  50%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   1 x 3 hour examination on phases 2 & 3  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate familiarity and knowledge of key theoretical approaches towards understanding the cultural relationships of science.
2. Demonstrate an ability to read, analyze and reflect critically on a range of evidential material drawn from historical, literary and other contexts.
3. Demonstrate an ability to research independently.
4. Demonstrate an ability to communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.


This module is designed as a core module to provide 2nd year Liberal Arts students with an introduction to the importance of understanding scientific and technological activity both as a cultural phenomenon in its own right, and in its relationship to other aspects of culture. It will enable them to think critically about the place of science and technology in modern culture by making them aware of the historical development and cultural impact of scientific thinking and practice.

The module aims are:
The module aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in recent approaches to understanding the cultural interconnections between several major aspects of scientific & technological activity, and by doing so, to offer a critical understanding of the place occupied by science in contemporary culture.

Brief description

The module takes the concept of scientific revolution, drawn from the work of philosopher Thomas Kuhn, as its starting point for investigating the ways in which historians, sociologists and other theorists have tried to understand science as a cultural activity. Taking three key episodes in the history of science and technology, it will interrogate the cultural place occupied by science by looking both at how other aspects of culture informed science and at how scientific concepts and ideas infiltrated other areas of culture.


Teaching will be delivered by means of 10 two-hour weekly sessions over the course of the semester, each session consisting of a combination of a lecture and small-group activities. These sessions will be organized into three blocks of three weeks each, with one final session drawing the strands together.
The content detailed below is indicative and may be amended depending on staff availability.

Week 1: SCIENCE AND CULTURE - Introduction
Week 1: Introduction: Are There Two Cultures? What are scientific and technological revolutions

Week 2: The Politics of Evolution – social Darwinisms and beyond
Week 3: History and Humanity – anthopocentricity under pressure
Week 4: Darwin’s Reception – internalising a conceptual revolution

Week 5: The Space Race – new frontiers for the World Series
Week 6: A Nuclear World – from sabre-rattling to missile parades
Week 7: Q Branch – technology and espionage in partnership

Week 8: Development of the Web – introducing computers to each other
Week 9: Social media – ‘friends’ in far places
Week 10: Digital news – citizen-journalism, wiki-leaks and techno-activism

Other phases/themes may include: Energy & Empire, War & technology, Electricity & the Victorians

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication will be developed in written work and discussion work
Improving own Learning and Performance will be developed as a result of feedback and response
Information Technology will be developed in related study and research work
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving will be developed in relation to assessment tasks and questions
Research skills will be developed in the written assessments
Subject Specific Skills will be developed Reasoning and assessment of empirical evidence
Team work will be developed in small-group seminar activities


This module is at CQFW Level 5